....because let's face it, Bald may be Beautiful but Patchy Not So Much!

Living with Hair Loss..an Update

let’s face it, Bald may be Beautiful but Patchy…not so much!!!

I thought since September is Alopecia Awareness Month I would write about my hair loss again. I revealed my hair loss in a post in June and had amazing support and feedback…THANK YOU!

Sure Bald is Beautiful but Patchy...not so much!
It’s been 9 months since my diagnosis of Lichen Planopilaris and I’m happy to say I’m in a pretty good place. It feels great to have it out in the open and not feel that I have to hide or be ashamed of my hair loss, although I am still self conscious about it.

When I wrote before, I described how painful it was, but now I feel I have a pretty good concoction of medication helping me manage my condition. Although I still have to wear a hat outside to prevent my scalp from feeling like it’s melting, the regular, every day itching and burning is almost non-existent!!! However, if I miss a couple of days applying my protopic cream, it’s incredibly itchy and sore, I have learned to stay on top of my prescriptions!

I’ve come to terms with wearing a hair piece! The type of piece I need is actually called a “toupee” but I’m not ok with calling it that or wearing a “toupee”, I am not an old man. I will soon be ordering and wearing a “hair piece”. I went to a consultation and got everything I need…colour match, measurements, etc. I’m still doing some research and want to shop around but I’m pretty excited about ordering it and being able to go out and wear my hair down for the first time in over a year! WooHoo!!! Once I have picked and ordered my hair piece I’ll be sure to fill you in with all the steps and details it takes to get a new look! (Stay Tuned!)

I’m still losing my hair, but the hair loss has thankfully slowed down. It can still be challenging to cover up my scalp but with my new options of hair pieces and my growing hat selection, I’m feeling better about things and more confident. When I see the back of my head, I still get taken back…”Is that my head? Where did my beautiful hair go?!” but it’s starting become more familiar and I am accepting that.

Over that past few months I’ve learned a lot. I’ve found a great online support where I am able to learn a lot through others’ experiences. I discovered my grandmother had a form of Alopecia, although it was never talked about. This information helped with the “why is this happening to me” question but saddened me to think my grandma suffered in silence and that it is in fact hereditary and I can pass this down to my children. I have come across great articles regarding hair loss and have had lots of inspiration through hearing other people’s stories.

So again, I write and encourage you to learn about as many rare medical conditions as you can, know what’s happening to your body and learn to recognize when your body is telling you something is wrong. Don’t suffer in silence, seek out support and no matter what, love yourself, because in the end, that’s what makes the difference.

Lots of Great Ideas to Encourage Fine Motor Skills while learning about Autumn!

Autumn Themed Activities for Toddlers

Last year I was really good at putting out different themed/seasonal activities for my son, but lately I’ve kind of dropped the ball. I decided to step up my game because I know my kiddo loved it before. 

SFall Themed Sensory Tableensory Table

I started with a sensory table with popcorn seeds which he’s had in the past and enjoyed but this time I spiced it up a little. I got the idea to dye the popcorn seeds fall colours off of Pinterest which turned out great! It was so easy, some popcorn seeds in a bag with a drop of hand sanitizer and food colouring! Like my last post of a sensory table, remember to put the seeds in a deep tray or container and an old sheet or shower curtain underneath because these babies can bounce and they’re not fun to clean up. This activity also works great with dyed rice! Put some tractors, toy rakes, farm animals and other fall toys and scoops in and let your child’s imagination run wild!

Talk about farming and harvesting. Practice scooping and pouring with different sized spoons and measuring cups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paint with Corn

I decided to do this activity with my son when I didn’t have any actual corn in the house but he has a toy plastic corn on the cob which we used instead. I felt this was better as corn on the cob is one of my son’s favourite foods and I was worried he might try to eat the paint covered corn. I do plan on trying it though, but I’ll be ready to grab the corn at any sign of salivating!

I put some red and yellow paint in a small container that my son can dip the corn in and I demonstrated how to roll it on he paper. He preferred stamping the corn which still had a cool puppy look.

Paint with Corn...Fall Activities

Pipe Cleaner & Button Tree

Wrap 3 brown pipe cleaners together to make a tree and give your child some large, fall coloured button or beads to put on the tree branches. Talk about the colours, how leaves change colour and fall off for winter, etc. (my son preferred the beads).

Pipe Cleaner Tree...Fine Motor Skills 

Fall Scented Playdough

There are a few recipes on Pinterest that are actually edible but I personally think that is too confusing for a child, one moment having Playdough they can eat and other times not so I personally recommend sticking to homemade, nontoxic Playdough that ain’t allowed near the mouth.

Here’s the Playdough recipe I like to use. Use fall coloured food colouring and scents, my favourites are:

  • brown with cinammon
  • Orange with pumkin pie spice (Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice) or for a gluten free option check out this recipe!
  • Red cranberry…instead of Playdough check out this recipe using cranberry sauce and cornstarch, it’s also gluten free!

Fall Play Dough...Smells like Pumpkin Pie!

Seasonal Bin

Find stuff around your house or head to the Dollar Store! Here’s what we have in our bin!

  • finger puppets
  • Halloween whistles
  • a skeleton
  • a pompom pumpkin
  • red and orange drink lids
  • jack-o-lantern pieces to use in play dough
  • an owl cookie cutter to use in play dough

Season Sensory Bin

I finally sat down and wrote a love letter to my son for him to read when he's older. I tell him all my favourite things about him and what I think makes him so special at this age.

A Love Letter to My Son ❤️

Last night I wrote a love letter to my son. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and for some reason or another, never got around to actually writing it.

I finally sat down and wrote a letter for my son to read when he's older, it was just what I needed after a long day of fighting with a stubborn two year old, reflecting on all the positive things I love about him!

I’m so glad I finally wrote it! I’m not always great at remembering to enter all his milestones in his baby book and even when I am it doesn’t cover everything, I worry that years from now I will forget all the special little things that make my little boy who he is right now. So now, as of September 1, 2015, I have it in writing, some of my favourite things about him. I also think it will be cool for him to read it when he’s older and laugh about how he gets his dance moves from his daddy and loves to sing.

This letter also covers my irrational, morbid fear of dying and not being there as he grows up, this way, heaven forbid anything happens, he will have a letter to read from me when he’s older. It’s in my handwriting and is sealed and dated for him to open when he’s older. I hope to do this every couple of years to have as a keepsake of my memories and something special between us.

Although I’ve been meaning to write this for months, I think I chose the perfect time to write it. As my son has dived right into the terrible twos, I find myself getting more and more frustrated with him. Some days, everything seems to be a drawn out fight. It was so nice to sit down with a pen and paper after he’d gone to bed and just reflect on everything I love about him and what makes him so special. It was a perfect ending to a long and stressful day, ending everything on a positive, loving note. I highly recommend you taking 10 minutes out of your evening and writing a love letter to your son or daughter.

A Week of Second Hand Smoke…What We Did to Keep Busy Indoors

I have been trapped inside for nearly a week with my son. Not only has our air been tainted by our southern and western neighbours (by no fault of their own!) to make it unsafe for my son and I to spend any significant amount of time outside, but my son has also been suffering with Roseola, a contagious fever and rash.

So here we are, we can’t go outside because of the smoke and everything indoors out of the house that is fun for my son involves other kids, which would expose them to Roseola, a contagious disease. So here I am, a responsible parent, locking my son and I inside our home, with clean air and not spreading his disease to other innocent children…I’m going stir crazy.

Being Stuck Indoors Due to Forest Fires
We went to superstore yesterday! It was so nice to get out of the house. Don’t get me wrong, I shouldn’t complain, my parents house swapped with us on Wednesday night, they stayed with our kiddo and pooches while we had a night out on the town…dinner and the Lion King, ending it off at their condo so we could sleep in…parents/grandparents of the year!  So technically I can’t complain because I did get an amazing break. But I still go out with my son everyday and we usually spend hours outside so even a break in a week of being trapped in our four walls still makes us both feel a little claustrophobic.

Due to forest fires in the U.S.A.and B.C., we have had no blue sky, no visibility and no quality of air since last weekend. When we go outside, it smells like we’re around a bonfire, only there’s no marshmallows. My poor kiddo doesn’t understand and just wants to play in his sandbox for countless hours.

Days can be long when you can't go out, here are some ideas to help you through them!
So here’s what we’ve been doing to keep busy while we’re trapped indoors (and some other great ideas too!):

  1. Play with Playdough.
  2. Paint.
  3. Build Lego block towers.
  4. Early on in the week, while stress levels are low, bring out some pots and pans and play some music!
  5. Explore new games such as Jenga and building towers or dominoe lines with them and knocking them over.
  6. Have a dance party to Raffi or your child’s favourite music.
  7. Build a Fort out of blankets.
  8. Read Books.
  9. Get some pipecleaners and a milk crate or clothes basket and make a game out of working on your child’s fine motor skills!
  10. Cook.
  11. Have a PhotoShoot and get some fun, recent shots of your kiddos!
  12. Bake.
  13. Get an old Box and make a Box Fort and decorate it.
  14. Make a car track with painter’s tape on your floor.
  15. Make your own Water Table.
  16. Play Dress Up! …old Halloween Costumes, Hats, Scarves, etc.
  17. Put down your To Do List and take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time with your kiddo(s)!
  18. Do a Puzzle.
  19. Crafts…I let my son use my dull, squiggly craft scissors, he loves stamping, there are endless craft ideas on Pinterest!
  20. Create your own Sensory Table for your child to explore.
  21. Do some housework…and get the kids involved!
  22. Watch a movie.
  23. If your child is healthy and you’ve been considering potty training, a week when you’re stuck in the house is the best time to do it!

Now those of you who know me or regularly read this blog, know I never suggest t.v. for young kid does but at the beginning of the week when my son was feverish and lethargic, we watched a movie and cuddled on the couch, because that’s what we do when we’re sick.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you can make the best of being stuck in the house, whatever the reason!

30 FREE things to do in and around Calgary

30 FREE Things to Do with Your Kiddos In & Around Calgary

30 FREE Things to Do IN & AROUND CALGARY!
Summer is almost over, we’ve been lucky to have some great weather but there’s still a few weeks left before you send the kiddos back to Daycare, Preschool or School. Here are some great things you can do in or around Calgary, Alberta that won’t cost you a thing!

  1. Spend a morning at a Playground…there are SO many around the city, branch out from your local one!
  2. Cool off in a Splash Park…you don’t have to be a community members for a number of them such as Okotoks, Valleyview Regional Park, etc.
  3. Take a short drive south to the Saskatoon Farm…there is a nice short walk looking over the valley, you can walk around the grounds and check out all the different plants and there’s a small farm where the kids can watch the chickens, turkeys, rabbits and pig.
  4. Drive out to the mountains and go on a child friendly hike in the Rockies.
  5. SouthCentre Mall’s new ROAR Play Park.
  6. Go for a walk or bike ride in Fish Creek Park.
  7. Pack a picnic and head to Edward H. Laborde Airplane Watching Area or Prairie Winds Park to watch the planes land and take off near the airport.
  8. Head downtown to the Devonian Gardens…listen to a talented musician playing the grand piano, watch the fish or play on the indoor playground.
  9. Take a free ride on the CTrain in the FreeZone downtown.
  10. Go for a swim at Sikome Lake in Fish Creek Park.
  11. Check out the stables at Spruce Meadows.
  12. Go to Canada Olympic Park…sit in the Jamaican bobsled and watch a real bobsled go down the track starting at 1pm.
  13. Register for a free tour of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.
  14. Go for a walk through Nose Hill Park.
  15. Watch a 45 minute demonstration at the R.C.M.P. Dog Training Centre every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm. (Location: Take Exit 365 off Hwy 2 at Innisfail, travel east and follow the signs.)
  16. Check out Readers Rock Garden.
  17. Register at http://www.kidsbowlfree.com for 2 free bowling games for your kiddos!
  18. If you have your own rod (with a barbless hook) you can catch and release trout at Bow Habitat Station Trout Pond. $5 to rent a rod.
  19. Take advantage of the free workshops offered at local hardware stores such Home Depot or Lowes.
  20. Drive out to the Big Rock just south of Okotoks and explore this erratic that gave Okotoks it’s name.
  21. Head down to Chinook Honey Farm…parents sample some mead and the cute gift shop while the kids explore the hive and search for the queen bee.
  22. Go for a swim in the Bow at Sandy Beach.
  23. Walk around a pet store and see all the different animals.
  24. Explore Princes Island.
  25. Pack a picnic and check out some of the amazing parks that Calgary has to offer.
  26. Splash around in one of Calgary’s wading pools.
  27. Spend some time at Edworthy Park, Shillington Crescent Park or Lions Park playing on the playgrounds and watching the trains that routinely pass by.
  28. Visit a library and read some new books or take advantage of the free programs that they offer.
  29. Check out the cool trains and learn about Canada’s grain industry at the Grain Academy & Museum.
  30. Spend a morning in North Glenmore Park and watch the variety of boats on the reservoir or take a walk (partially) around the reservoir.

Toddler Lessons…Making the Most of Their “Spongy Period”: Gardening

You may remember the post from April in which I introduced my son to gardening. I laid out an old shower curtain on the floor of our basement with all of our gardening things and demonstrated how to carefully scoop some soil out of the bag and dump it into each pot. Together, we planted the seeds, covered them with soil and watered them. 

During the process, I explained to my son that plants need soil, nutrients, water and sunshine to grow. We placed the pots by a window and I told my son I would need his help to water the plants each day to help them grow and give us food to eat.

As the months have passed and our plants have been transplanted into a garden, my son still helps me pick vegetables to use for our meals, helps me run out before a storm comes to protect them and assists with daily care such as watering and weeding around the yard. He’s learning responsibility and teamwork. He is literally tasting the fruits of his labour.

There is so much to do with gardening whether you have a large property with lots of outside plants or a few pots of herbs in your home, you can always teach your child about gardening and how things grow.

During the summer months you can get cheap, child sized watering cans that you can fill up for your child to help you water plants or even convert a small plastic milk jug into a watering can by poking holes through the lid. With close supervision, your child can help you water inside plants and herbs or you can allow them more independence for outside plants where it doesn’t matter if they spill some water on the ground. If your plants are important to you, make sure you are always close as I have left my son to watering our plants on the deck and have come back to him driving tractors through my pots!!!!

  

  Here are some activities you can do to Teach your Toddler About Gardening:

  • Plant some seeds.
  • Weed your Garden or Yard.
  • Water Plants.
  • Go for a walk and pick some Wild Flowers to put in a vase.
  • Place a celery or romaine lettuce stem is some water and watch it grow.
  • Paint some rocks to put it pots or a garden (note: you will have to choose between washable paint/markers that won’t withstand rain or permanent that won’t wash off your child easy!)
  • Plant Grass in a cup with a smiley face and your toddler can help you give it a hair cut!
  • Buy a Chia Plant.
  • Print off some pictures of flowers or a garden for your child to colour.
  • Go for a walk and find flowers, smell them, explain how somebody planted seeds and the sun and rain helps them grow.

There are so many activities you can do with your young child to introduce them to the concept of gardening, have fun and teach your child how to make things grow and respect our earth!

Toddler Lessons…Making the Most of their “Spongy Period”: the farm

My son’s first word was tractor, he loves them. We’re fortunate to live in the country and be surrounded by them and my son loves to watch them working in the fields and wave as they go by.

It started that everything was a tractor and it gradually expanded to more specific types such as a digger, grater, bulldozer. With them all working in the fields haying, we decided to expand it even further.


When we drive into town my son now points out the Canola fields and the farmer’s fields. We’ve been talking about bailers and how they cut the grass and take hay bails out of it for the horses to eat.

As well as the tractor side of farming, we’ve also been talking about animals. My son already know his farm animals and the sounds they make but we went to a little farm last week and I had to drag him away from watching the animals. He was fascinated with the turkey and whether it would jump down because we were talking about how they can’t fly…it never got down. We watched the chickens eat seeds and the pig mainly lie around and sleep. I had wanted to take him to a petting zoo which I know he will love but our week was too busy to fit it it, we will definitely be going in the next few weeks though.

We’ve read books about farm animals, baby farm animals and life on a farm. We’ve played with his Farm Animal Finger Puppets, singing Old MacDonald and making all their noises. We’ve played with his toy tractors, digging dirt, taking the animals for rides and cutting the grass. He has a farm animal shape sorter which isn’t good as a shape sorter because you can fit the animals in most holes if you turn them but it’s still lots of fun to have a barn and all the animals.

Like most Toddler Lesson Plans and Activities, I kept these very informal by having a theme to our activities for the week and always being mindful of bringing it up when the opportunity presented itself.

Here are some great activities you can do with your child, depending on their interests.

  • Print off the Farm Animal Colouring Sheets of the Farm Animal Finger Puppets sold in my Etsy Shop located at the bottom of this post.
  • Drive out in the country past fields and talk about what’s growing in them or read a book about it.
  • Visit a farm…there are some great farms open to the public, try to find a petting zoo!
  • Sing Old MacDonald had a Farm.
  • Read books about farms, tractors and farm animals, your local library will have a great variety!
  • Play with stuffed animals, Finger Puppets or any farm like toys your child has.
  • Watch a video, such as Baby Einstein – A Day on the Farm
  • Do a craft for a Farm Animal…there are lots of ideas on Pinterest.

Have fun! Take advantage of your child’s eagerness to learn while spending quality time with them too!

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable